Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Observatory Accessibility


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Hampshire Astronomical Group welcome you!

Formed in 1960 in Portsmouth the ‘Hampshire Astronomical Group’ has grown into one of the finest and largest amateur astronomical observatories in the UK.

Located high on a hill on the South Coast of England in the village of Clanfield (between Petersfield and Portsmouth) you will find a superbly equipped Observatory with a very active and enthusiastic membership.

We have a full program of Public Open evenings throughout the year at the Observatory coupled with monthly interesting and educational talks held at the ‘Clanfield Memorial Hall – Clanfield’ where you are more than welcome to attend.

Feel free to browse this website, it is constantly up-dated, so do re visit often.

Clear Nights and Dark Skies,

Richard Judd - President
Hampshire Astronomical Group

What's on in the next month...

10th April
7 Moons
A talk by Bob Mizon MBE
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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25th April
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon & Jupiter
- start time 8:00pm

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26th April
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon & Jupiter
- start time 8:00pm

More details...

Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium Lecture Series

8th April - Jewel of the Solar System: Celebrating 10 years of Cassini at Saturn

Talk by Dr Caitriona Jackman (University of Southampton)

Adult evening lectures on the second Wednesday's of the Month at 4.30pm and 6.30pm, each follow by a short Planetarium Show about the months sky.

Lecture: this talk will be a celebration of the wonderful discoveries that have been made by the Cassini-Huygens mission to planet Saturn. Cassini is one of the biggest and most successful interplanetary spacecraft ever built and has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004.

Dr Caitriona Jackman is a planetary scientist and enthusiastic science communicator. She started her PhD in 2003 when Cassini was approaching Saturn and has been fascinated by the environment ever since.

These events often sell out so pre-book or call to check on (01962) 863791

For more details and tickets please visit the Intech web site

Astronomy for Beginners Course

Astronomy is the oldest science and throughout the ages mankind has had a fascination for the night sky. This twenty-week course for adults over two terms, on Monday evenings from 7.15pm to 9.00pm at Clanfield Observatory, starting on Monday, 21st September 2015, is intended to introduce a basic understanding of astronomy with an emphasis on activities carried out by amateurs.

The course will include observations through some of the telescopes we have, when weather conditions permit.

As there is currently a surge of interest in astronomy, the course quickly fills up, so early enrolment is strongly recommended. 

For more details check out our Courses for All page: 

Or to book your place on the course please contact Robin Gorman by email: robin.gorman@hantsastro.org.uk

Southdowns Planetarium

The South Downs Planetarium is a registered educational charity, which is run by a small team of experienced and dedicated volunteers.
The Planetarium operates throughout the year, but is not open every day.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the Planetarium at the show times listed on this website.

Public Shows and Dates

Tuesday 31st March - 3.30pm - Springtime Stars, Moon and Planets

Thursday 2nd April - 3.30pm - The Easter Full Moon

Friday 3rd April - 7.30pm - The Easter Night Sky

Monday 6th April - 3.30pm - Seven Wonders of the Solar System

Wednesday 8th April - 3.30pm - Springtime Stars and Galaxies

Friday 10th April - 7.30pm - The Hunt for Earth-like Planets and Life

Friday 17th April - 7.30pm - The Northern Lights

Sunday 19th April - 3.30pm - The Northern Lights

As seats sell out fast, it is essential to book your seat.

Admission Prices: £6.00 for adults, or £4.00 for children 6 to 16yrs. Cash or Cheque Only

The South Downs Planetarium Trust is a Registered Educational Charity No. 1096869.

For further information about all South Downs Planetarium activities, contact: 

The South Downs Planetarium and Science Centre
Sir Patrick Moore Building
Kingsham Farm
Kingsham Road
West Sussex PO19 8RP

For Sat Nav Users:-

Enter PO19 8AE

Tel: 01243 774400 Ticket hotline: 07818 297292

e-mail: sdownsplanet@btconnect.com


What's on between next month and 6 months...

8th May
The History of the Universe in the Palm of Your Hand
A talk by Dr Karen Masters
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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12th June
Earth’s aurora and magnetosphere
A talk by Dr Robert C Fear
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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10th July
Exoplanets: where are our alien neighbours?
A talk by Professor Don Pollacco
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for April 2015


7-13 April - This is a favourable time to look at the Moon's south pole which is covered in craters.

8 April - 04:20 BST - The Moon can be found approximately 5° west of Saturn.  Look for them in the south.

21 April - A waxing crescent Moon can be found approximately 1° east of Aldebaran, and Venus will be about 7.25° north of the Moon.  Look for them as the sky darkens.

25 April - 00:35 BSE - The Moon occults TYC1360-1431-1 (mag. +6.6) and then 68 Geminorum (mag. +5.3).


8 April - 22:54-22:59 BST - Annular occultation of Callisto by Europa.

9 April - Venus can be found south of the Pleiades.

11 April - Dwarf planet Haumea (mag. +17.2) can be found in Boötes.  It can be seen using digital imaging.

14 April - Venus can be found between the Pleiades and Hyades.

15 April - 21:10-00:46 BST - Ganymede transits Jupiter, with the moon's shadow following between 02:01 and 05:38 BST.

17-18 April - 22:15-02:57 BST - Callisto's shadow crosses Jupiter's disc.

18 April - 02:28-02:36 BST - Rare annular occultation of Ganymede by Callisto.

22 April - just after Sunset - Mars and Mercury are separated by 1.25° and can be found low in the west-northwest.

30 April - Mercury and the Pleiades are separated by 2°, look for them low in the northwest horizon just after sunset.

Meteor Showers

22-23 April - Midnight to 05:00 BST - Peak of the April Lyrid meteor shower with a ZHR of 10 meteors an hour.


3 April - This is a good time to look at Gamma Virginis (Porrima) which can be found approximately 4° above and left of the Moon.  As this binary system has moved farther apart over the past few years, it should now be possible to separate the two stars using a 3" telescope.

16 April - Good opportunity to image M104 (Sombrero galaxy).  It can be found due south just after midnight and will be at its highest point in the sky.

20 April - Good time to observe the deep-sky objects near the Plough; these objects include the Owl Nebula, M81 and M82, and the Mizar and Alcor multiple star system.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Jupiter Images Credit: NASA

After Dark at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

After Dark: adults only

Wed 29th April.

Visit the planetarium and play about in the exhibition after the kids have gone home. Activities run throughout the evening so no problem if you cannot get here for 6pm or if you need to leave early.

Ticket price: £10/£8 including one planetarium show and entry to the centre. Add the other show for just +£2.

Teachers: free entry (includes one show); send requests in advance by email using your school/college email address.

Online booking (if you want to see both shows, add the second on the next page)

Telephone bookings (01962) 891925. Please have your credit/debit card ready. If the front desk is too busy for staff to answer your call straight away you can leave your number and they will call you back.

Strictly ages 18yr+ (if you're lucky enough to look younger, please bring ID).

For more details of the events please check out After Dark

What's on after the next 6 months...

9th October
Shedding Light on Supersonic Snowballs in Hell - the Physics of Close Comet-Sun Encounters
A talk by Professor John Brown
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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13th November
The Storms of Jupiter
A talk by Neil Breckell
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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11th December
The Star of Bethlehem
A talk by Mark Kidger
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...